Pittella: Barnier has experience necessary for Brexit role
Gianni Pittella, the president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, has backed the appointment of Michel Barnier as the European Commission’s chief negotiator for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
“The negotiations regarding Britain’s future relationship with the EU are going to be long and difficult. We are therefore pleased that president Juncker has chosen someone with a strong background in EU politics to lead the negotiations from the Commission’s side. Mr Barnier is not from our political family but he has shown in his role as internal market Commissioner that he is a tough negotiator and someone prepared to work in the interest of all Europeans.
“A good relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU is in everyone’s interests. However, we need to be clear that this does not mean accepting whatever the UK Government proposes. We will not allow a deal where the UK can pick and choose which parts of EU law it wants to abide by. If the UK wants to retain full access to the single market then this means accepting the responsibilities that come with it, including free movement of people. We look forward to working closely with Mr Barnier in the coming months to find a deal that works for both sides.”